TORONTO — The WWE and its superstars spread some Christmas cheer with its third-to-last house show and final Canadian show of 2023. The stop in Toronto at the Coca-Cola Coliseum featured three matches which on their own could have main-evented any house show. They made the event one of the best WWE Toronto house shows in years. Cody Rhodes battled Damian Priest in a steel cage match. Adopted hometown hero Sami Zayn took on Finn Balor in a Last Man Standing match. In the official main event of the evening, Seth Rollins defended his WWE World Championship against challengers Drew McIntyre and Shinsuke Nakamura in a Triple Threat match.

The star of the show though was the dude in the front row who caught a kendo stick Sami Zayn had tossed away in his match with Balor. The stick bounced off the canvass over the top rope and into the awaiting hands of said fan. A party pooper of a security guard confiscated the stick. Fans rained down boos upon them. Sami Zayn tagged himself into the situation. He left the ring in the middle of the match, took the stick away from the security guard and gave it back to the fan to loud and well-deserved pop.

The only other time I have seen anything like this happen was when the Big Boss Man came down the aisle swinging his night stick in Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens years ago. He lost control of the stick and it flew into the stands hitting a fan. Word at the time was that the WWE compensated the fan with all manner of merchandise, meet and greets, free tickets to the next event and the Boss Man didn’t have to do any hard time.

You would think that a steel cage match between Priest and Rhodes would main event the card but it was booked right before the intermission and that gave Cody Rhodes plenty of time afterwards to sign autographs and interact with fans long, long after the match was over.

When he entered the cage Cody climbed to the top of one corner and saluted the crowd. Priest drove Cody to the mat with a stiff haymaker to the face. Cody ducked two clotheslines and gave Priest his dropdown punch which staggered the big man. Cody lifted the much taller man for an impressive stalling, standing suplex. Priest caught a charging Cody tossing him face-first into the steel cage. Priest grabbed Cody by the hair throwing him into the cage for a second time. Priest mocked the crowd and their fallen hero. Priest snatched Cody, ran with him spiking him into the cage for the third time in succession. That only scored him a one count though.

Priest gave Cody two running elbow smashes in a corner. He dropped to one knee begging the crowd to boo or cheer him as the late, great Eddie Guerrero used to often do. Priest called for the cage door to be opened. Cody charged across the ring pulling Priest back in then gave him a dragon screw leg whip in the ropes. To a chorus of….Woooos!…Cody slapped Priest in a figure four. Priest had to escape by reversing the hold on Cody.

Both men battled at the top of the cage. Priest smashed Cody’s head off the top of the cage. A stunned Cody fell back into the ring. Instead of scaling the rest of the way out Priest climbed back down. On the way, he fell and crotched himself on the top rope. That’s gotta hurt.

Cody nailed his Disaster Kick but Priest fought his way out of a Cross Rhodes. Priest gave Rhodes his own finisher for a two count. Cody landed a Cody Cutter for a two count. Priest escaped another attempted Cross Rhodes by punching Rhodes in the “lower abdomen”. Priest dropped Cody with a one-handed chokeslam for a two count. Priest seized the opportunity to climb the cage as Cody headed for the door. Seeing Cody was almost out Priest dropped back down slamming the cage door into Cody’s head. Cody turned a South of Heaven into a Cross Rhodes.

The race was on to escape the cage. Cody climbed the cage while Priest crawled through the door. Cody dropped to the floor first winning the match.

Both Sami Zayn and Finn Balor relied on plunder in the form of kendo sticks, steel chairs and tables in their Last Man Standing match. As he had done in Rhea Ripley’s match earlier in the evening Dominik Mysterio interfered on Finn’s behalf. Mysterio pushed Zayn off the top rope sending him crashing down to the canvass. A sling blade, shotgun drop kick and a Coup de Grace later and the official began his 10 count. Zayn made it to his feet frustrating both members of The Judgment Day. They setup a table in a corner to match the one already setup on the floor. Zayn ducked Balor who ran into Mysterio knocking him off the apron and through the table below. Zayn won the match by sending Finn through the table set-up in the corner. A KO’ed Balor couldn’t answer the official’s ten count and lost the match.

WWE World Champion Seth Rollins retained his title by defeating Drew McIntyre and Shinsuke Nakamura in a triple threat match. As all three men lay on the canvass, Drew kicked up to his feet. He went for his Claymore but Rollins answered with a super kick to the jaw and a Pedigree. Nakamura stopped the pin by suplexing Rollins. Nakamura’s Kinshasa was blocked by Drew’s Claymore kick. As both men tried to rise to their feet Rollins ran, jumped off Drew’s back and Curb Stomped Nakamura for the win.

Rollins told the fans he loved Toronto. He has fond memories of wrestling indie shows there. He didn’t think anything could top last year’s Holiday Show. He wished everyone a Happy New Year, except any CM Punk fans in the audience as there were many Punk chants during the main event. He didn’t understand why fans care for him when he argued that Punk doesn’t care for them adding more fuel to their eventual WrestleMania match and feud.

The WWE did not announce a Toronto return date.

WWE Holiday Tour 2023 – Toronto Results


Becky Lynch versus Zoey Stark

Lynch counters Stark’s Z-360 with a Manhandle Slam for the win.

Winner: Becky Lynch

Ludwig Kaiser versus Kofi Kingston

Before and after the match Kofi threw out candy canes to the crowd. He beat Kaiser with his Trouble in Paradise.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven versus Katana Chance and Kayden Carter (c) – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

Niven goofed and splashed Green. Chance and Cart win with their finisher.

Winners: Katana Chance and Kayden Carter

Omos versus R-Truth

Omos and MVP came out. They laid out a challenge. Anyone who could knock Omos off his feet would win $10,000. R-Truth answered the call but he demanded MVP’s watch as as well. MVP not only agreed to that but said he would kiss Truth’s butt too. MVP interfered often hitting Truth with his cane behind the official’s back. MVP would get clocked off the apron by Truth but Truth would be chokeslammed by Omos.

Winner: Omos

Shayna Baszler versus Ivy Nile versus Rhea Ripley (c) – WWE Women’s World Championship Match

The biggest pop of the night was when Baszler locked the Kirifuda Clutch on Dominik Mysterio. That opened the door though for Rhea to pin Baszler with a sneaky roll-up and a handful of tights.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Cody Rhodes versus Damian Priest – Steel Cage Match

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Bronson Reed versus Ricochet

Ricochet wins with his moonsault thingy.

Winner: Ricochet

Finn Balor versus Sami Zayn – Last Man Standing Match

Winner: Sami Zayn

Drew McIntyre versus Seth Rollins (c) versus Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE World Championship Match

Winner: Seth Rollins


Steve Argintaru’s WWE Toronto Dec. 29, 2023 photo gallery